This site is intended for health professionals only


Quangos to run NHS, behavioural problems in girls and how you can drip feed your tummy



Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 24 October.

There is nothing like a leaked document to start the week. The Guardian has obtained documents relating to the running of the health bill. Apparently, Andrew Lansley will ‘franchise’ responsibility for the NHS to the NHS Commissioning Board for up to three years at a time.

This means the day-to-day running of the NHS will fall to an ‘unelected academic and the nation’s 38,000 family doctors’ rather than health ministers, claims the newspaper.

Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA, is a chemical found in canned food linings, plastic bottles of fizzy drinks, mobile phones, and thermal paper till receipts, and has today been linked to emotional and behavioural problems in girls. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, say mothers who are exposed to the chemical during pregnancy are more likely to have girls who are hyperactive, aggressive, anxious, show depressed behaviour, and poorer emotional control.

The Daily Mail, tell us that 15 obese children and teenagers, whose size poses a health risk, will be given gastric balloons to help them to lose weight. Acting like a gastric band, the balloon will be inserted without surgery and removed after six months. The patients will then  be given CBT and put on lifestyle programs for the next two years.

Professor David Haslam, GP and chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘It is a desperate situation when we have come to this,’ he said. ‘One has to ask if it can be right to subject children and young teenagers to the trauma and discomfort of having a gastric balloon fitted.’

Sticking with obesity, Daily Telegraph asks, ‘Would you choose the drip-fed diet to lose weight?‘ Dr Ray Shidrawi, gastroenterologist at Homerton University Hospital, has introduced Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition, or KEN to its friends, which is a ‘controversial’ 10-day regime of being drip-fed 130 calories of pure protein, nutrients, antacids and laxatives via a nasogastric tube. According to Dr Shidrawi, with KEN there are no feelings of hunger or side effects. Well, if you’ve ever tried the cabbage soup diet, zero side effects will be a breath of fresh air.